The connection of a new body to The Hive.
The AnimationAfter a new body has been created through The Recombination, it starts as an empty shell of organic matter. The first step of The Linking is therefore to activate the body's vital functions by setting up the electrochemical reactions. Starting at the muscles and the vegetative nervous system, a reservoir of spare molecules in each cell is transformed into the enzymes which control the exchange of sodium and potassium ions. The same process is repeated for the higher body functions in ascending order, with the conscious mind being activated last.
The Mental ConnectionOnce the new body is conscious, the telepathic connection is established. The Hive reaches out to the blank mind, infusing it with the knowledge of how to maintain the connection from the other end. Next, the key elements of The Hive's identity are transferred. The One Who Is New receives the fundamental personality traits and morality, which they store in their own central nervous system. Finally, The One Who Is New is equipped with what they need to know about their environment, such as natural laws or dangerous wildlife.
The First ObservationsThe Linking is concluded with the first experiences gathered by The One Who Is New. Fully integrated with the shared consciousness of The Hive, the new body starts to make use of its own sensory organs. This is a highly valued and eagerly awaited moment. Those Who Are Old turn as much of their attention to these sensations as they can afford. Together, they all take in The First Observations such as soundwaves, chemicals or patterns of light. They also memorize these sensations so that they can later be relived by those bodies which are otherwise occupied.
Those Who Are OldThe Linking usually involves all existing bodies which are not required for The Halting or recovering in The Calming Shelters. For The Animation, this is a technical requirement due to the number of cells that need to be activated in parallel. In contrast, The Mental Connection and The First Observations are cherished moments that the existing minds like to focus on.
The One Who Is NewThe new body is at the center of attention. Special care is taken to provide it with a safe environment for coming to life, and the moment it starts to explore its surroundings is the most important part of The Linking.
The Linking is a demanding task, especially when the new body is manifested on a different planet or moon. Consequently, almost all instances are executed when the celestial object in question passes between That Which Changes and The Central Star. Also of note is the timing of The First Observations. Since Those Who Are Old prefer to focus on the new body's sensations, they need to make sure that little else demands their attention during these moments. Consequently, all but the vital activities are suspended. On The Outer Planetoid, only The Halting and The Distribution Of Energy continue while leisurely activities in The Calming Shelters are postponed. Bodies which are deployed elsewhere retreat to a place where they will be undisturbed. The exact time window for The Linking is chosen so that the greatest possible subset of Those Who Are Old can participate.